The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a nearly $6-million payout to a group of police officers who accused their LAPD supervisors of imposing a traffic ticket quota and punishing them when they objected.
The agreement follows a multimillion-dollar jury verdict in a lawsuit about the same quota allegations and brings the amount of taxpayer money spent on the matter to more than $10 million.
With an 11-0 vote taken behind closed doors, the council agreed to pay $5.9 million to settle a pair of lawsuits filed in 2010 by 11 LAPD officers assigned to a motorcycle unit. In the lawsuits, the officers detailed what they claimed were strict demands for tickets placed on them by Capt. Nancy Lauer, who ran the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Traffic Division for several years starting in 2006.
The lawsuits alleged that Lauer required officers in the division to write at least 18 traffic tickets each shift and demanded that 80% of the citations to be for major violations.
State law forbids such types of quotas for police officers.
Officers who failed to meet the alleged ticket minimums or raised concerns about them were reprimanded, denied overtime assignments, given undesirable work schedules and subjected to other forms of harassment, according to the lawsuits. In a few instances, Lauer allegedly attempted to kick officers out of the motorcycle unit, the lawsuits claim.